Which Is Right For You?

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Which Is Right For You?



The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an enticing introductory bonus of $200. You will earn this bonus after spending $500 within the first three months. In addition to the sign-up bonus, the rewards have the potential to add up quickly. 

You’ll earn 5% on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. You have more options in terms of redemption, including a check, statement credit, gift cards, and travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. 

Unlike the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT, there is not a balance transfer opportunity. But you’ll enjoy an introductory 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, with a regular APR of 14.99 – 23.74% Variable thereafter. 

Rewards

Maximizing your rewards is a key part of this decision. Here’s how the rewards stack up:

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers a simple approach to rewards. You’ll earn 2% cash back on every single purchase. You’ll get the first 1% cash back as you make purchases and the second 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.

The reward will show up as a statement credit. Yes, it is really that simple. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cash back rewards in different amounts for various categories. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

In addition to different tiers of earning, there are different ways to redeem your rewards. You can choose from several redemption options, including a check, statement credit, gift cards, and travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

APR

Here’s how the costs of these two credit cards compare. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer APR

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers a 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the APR ranges from 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® APR

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an introductory 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months. After the introductory period ends, the APR ranges from 14.99 – 23.74% Variable.

Fees

Although neither card has an annual fee, there are still some fees to be aware of. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer fees

Here are the fees associated with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer:

  • Late payment fee – Up to $40. 
  • Returned payment fee – Up to $40. 
  • Foreign transaction fee – 3% of the purchase price. 
  • Balance transfer fee – 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

These are relatively standard fees, but something to keep in mind. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® fees

Here are the fees associated with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

  • Late payment fee – Up to $39. 
  • Returned payment fee – Up to $39.
  • Foreign transaction fee – 3% of the purchase price. 
  • Balance transfer fee – N/A.

If you are looking for a balance transfer opportunity with lower costs, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT is a better fit. 

Introductory bonus

Are you looking for a big bonus? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® might be the better option. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer introductory bonus

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT doesn’t offer an introductory bonus opportunity. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® introductory bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an introductory bonus opportunity of $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months.

Bonus perks

Every credit card comes with special perks, what do these cards offer beyond the rewards?

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer bonus perks

In addition to cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers:

  • Access to Citi Entertainment® – With this Citi card, you will unlock Citi Entertainment®, which gives you special access to purchase thousands of event tickets and exclusive experiences throughout the year. 
  • 24-hour fraud protection – You’ll receive an alert for any unusual activity. 
  • The Lost Wallet Service – If you lose your card, Citi will replace it quickly. The company site suggests you’ll receive your replacement in 24 hours. 
  • Purchase protection – If unauthorized charges hit your account, you will not be liable. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® bonus perks

Here’s what the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, beyond the outstanding rewards:

  • Travel insurance – With this Chase card, you’ll have trip cancellation/interruption insurance for eligible purchases. You could be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. 
  • Lyft discount – You’ll receive a 5% Lyft discount. 
  • 24-hour fraud protection – You’ll receive an alert for any unusual activity. 
  • Zero liability protection – If there are unauthorized charges on your card, you won’t be held accountable. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® pros

Let’s take a look at the pros that stand out. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT pros:

  • No annual fee – An annual fee won’t affect your budget.
  • Earn cash back with ease – No need to worry about spending categories because you’ll earn 2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay) on unlimited purchases. 
  • Helpful balance transfer option – Take advantage of a 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers (with a regular APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) after the intro). 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® pros:

  • Sign-up bonus – Earn $200 after spending $500 in the first three months. 
  • Cash back opportunities in multiple categories – These can work in your favor depending on your spending habits. 
  • No annual fee – Annual fees will not creep into your statement. 
  • Outstanding introductory APR – A 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months is a great opportunity. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer vs Chase Freedom Unlimited® cons

Everything has cons. Here’s what stands out to me. 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer cons:

  • No sign-up bonus – Unlike the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you’ll have to forgo a big welcome bonus. 
  • Foreign transaction fee – Both of these cards have this fee which could be a factor if you travel often. 
  • Potential expiration on rewards If you don’t earn cash back for 12 months from payments or purchases, then your rewards could expire. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® cons:

  • Foreign transaction fee – Both of these cards have this fee which could be a factor if you travel often. 
  • Confusing tiers – If you want a simple flat cash back rate, then this card could be tedious to keep track of. 

Why choose Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT?

Simplicity

A flat 2% cash back rate keeps things simple. You will always know what you are earning from your purchases without checking a list of categories. 

If you want to keep your finances as simple as possible while enjoying big rewards, then the Citi® Double Cash Card could be the perfect boost for your spending. After all, who wouldn’t want 2% cash back on every single purchase? 

Attractive balance transfer

If you are working to pay off credit card debt, then you know that high interest rates can make things more difficult. Even with a modest amount of credit card debt, a high interest rate can multiply your debt faster than you can keep up. That’s when a balance transfer can really come in handy

Since the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offers an introductory 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers, this can be a great choice if you need a balance transfer. Plus, you’ll get a regular APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) after the intro period. 

Why choose Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

Big sign-up bonus

Are you looking for a quick win for your finances? It can be hard to resist the outstanding introductory offer of $200 after spending $500 in the first three months. 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® provides a lucrative opportunity to put a big payday in your pocket quickly. If you need an influx of cash and already plan to meet the spending requirement, then this card provides a good opportunity. 

Flexible redemption

When you accumulate rewards quickly, redeeming your points can be constraining with other credit cards. Although no one will turn down a statement credit, having the option to redeem your points in other ways can open up exciting options. 

Of course, the rewards earned through this card can be used as cash back on your statement, but you could branch out and use the rewards for gift cards or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. If you are looking to travel more or love having gift cards to spend at your favorite stores, then you might be happiest with this card.

Summary

Both cards offer an opportunity to cash in on rewards. If you are looking for a balance transfer opportunity with a simple rewards system, then the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a better fit. If you want a big welcome bonus and tiered rewards, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be the right option for you. 

Take some time to consider how the two cards could impact your finances. 

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